Zuhr

1:56 PM

some people are wondering
how life ends
yet life goes on

(these are the families of the deceased.)

some people will die
if they don’t go on

(these are the workers,
the labourers,
the sex workers)

songs
songs of grief
dirges so
so
painful
so heavy
songs that will
accompany the dead
to the otherworld

today, we are placing
silver coins on
your eyes
before we lower you into the ground.

today we will not call you Jessica,
today, you are Àbèké.

today, the earth is over populated
over exploited
how many times it has been dug open
today
today songs are collecting the bodies.

whole men and women
now reduced to headlines
bright children filled with love and
cozy warmth
if you wish to see them now,
you must look between the lines
of the weekly newspaper.

yet somewhere, a man must pray
to pray is to be hopeful
to believe blindly
that maybe
maybe we will not die, today.

but the imam
Sheikh Zukariya Nur’deen
standing in front of the congregation
his white beards sweeping the dusty ground
stops
and says,
the blood of our Christian brothers
are still here
we will not pray here, today

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